After graduating 24 seniors a season ago, there is no comparing this year's Heritage team to the squad that went 10-3 in 2012.
But after three games, the results are eerily similar, with a loss to New Haven to begin the season followed by a pair of solid victories over Norwell and Woodlan.
“This year's team is its own team,” Heritage coach Dean Lehrman said. “But I just want to say, after getting taken apart by New Haven (in a 61-21 Week 1 loss), they did a good job hanging together and coming back.”
With so much youth on the field, Lehrman knew it would be difficult to refocus his team after the rout at the hands of the Bulldogs.
“Last year's team didn't need as much coaching because it was so experienced,” Lehrman said. “But this year's team we go back to square one time and again.”
With the last two wins coming by six or less points, Lehrman is finding a lot more about his young squad than if the Patriots were winning by blowout.
“You do find out a lot more about your kids, the character and everything,” Lehrman said. “But it goes without saying, the coaching staff had a terrible game Friday night in all three phases of the game.
“We are hopefully moving on and getting smarter.”
Unfortunately, Heritage may have to go forward without senior wide receiver/defensive back Cole Gerardot, who will get an MRI on his knee today after suffering an injury on Friday.
“It doesn't look good, I'll say that much,” Lehrman said.
Two weeks ago, the Patriots got a scare when Gerardot believed he had broken his wrist, but it turned out to be just a sprain.
Charger senior Drue Tranquill continues to take his time weighing whether to maintain his verbal commitment to Purdue or accept a late scholarship offer to Notre Dame.
“I'm still committed to Purdue,” Tranquill said. “I'm going to the Notre Dame at Purdue game (Saturday) then to Notre Dame the following week for the Michigan State game.”
He is not in a hurry to say yes or no to the Fighting Irish.
“There's no timetable,” Tranquill said. “I've got to have a feeling and feel secure in my decision. If the Notre Dame offer closes and another guy commits, that's God's way of saying, 'Go to Purdue.' I have to feel secure in my decision. Right now, my high school team comes first. They deserve the leadership and effort out of me.”
Tranquill scored five touchdowns in Carroll's 70-15 win over Norwell last Friday, but missed a couple plays after an awkward hit.
“I went down with the crown of my head and got caught in a little jam in the neck,” Tranquill said. “I iced it and I'll be fine. That's football.”
There were worries in preseason that while David Morrison was a very good high school quarterback, he was not going to have the weapons to throw the ball to.
Last Friday, Morrison proved he has the go-to guys when he hit five different receivers while going 17-of-23 for 210 yards and a touchdown in the Cadets' first win of the season, a 35-21 victory over previously unbeaten Wayne.
Concordia had put scares into North Side and Bishop Dwenger in the first two weeks of the season, but put four quarters together Friday.
Morrison is proving that when you have a reliable quarterback at the high school level, it is easier for things around him to fall into place.
* While it may have been against a rebuilding Bishop Luers team, do not discount the importance of South Side's 27-21 overtime victory last Friday night. The Archers entered the season with so much hype and promise, but were outscored 62-20 in losses to Bishop Dwenger and Snider to open the season.
The schedule now gets vastly easier for the Archers, who with the win over the Knights on Friday could really start to gain momentum, and positions in the SAC standings.
* With the game with East Noble tied late last Friday, Homestead quarterback Logan Ormsby threw an interception that handed momentum to the Knights.
But the Spartans defense held, and the junior Ormsby responded by going 4-for-4 passing for 59 yards on Homestead's eventual game-winning field goal drive shortly thereafter.
It was a solid job of showing composure in a pressure situation after making an error.
* Churubusco has now given up an average of two points per game through the first three weeks of the season. The next three opponents – Eastside, Angola and West Noble – were all shut out by the Eagles last season.
Of course, like always, the second half of the schedule as well as the postseason will really tell us what kind of a team Churubusco is. At present, the Eagles have played the 297th toughest schedule in the state out of 326 schools according to the Sagarin Ratings.
In short, we've seen this kind of early-season dominance before in Turtle Town.